A Texas pastor unleashed an anti-Santa rant on a group of children waiting to see St. Nick at Amarillo’s Westgate Mall in a now-viral video posted Saturday.
David Grisham of Repent Amarillo and Last Frontier Evangelism filmed himself telling the kids Santa isn’t real and that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ.
“Kids, I want to tell you today that there is no such thing as Santa Claus,” he yelled at the crowd waiting in line. “The Christmas season is about Jesus. Jesus was born 2016 years ago. He was born in a manger in a small town called Bethlehem. And that’s the truth about Christmas.
“The man you’re going to see today is just a man in a suit, dressed up like Santa, but Santa does not exist,” he continued. “Santa’s not real. And parents you all need to stop lying to your children and telling them that Santa Claus is real when in fact he’s not.”
More than a minute into his tirade, some of the parents went to confront Mr. Grisham.
“Quit talking this mess, you understand me?” one angry parent said. “I’ve got my kids over there, we don’t need you coming over here blabbing whatever it is you’re blabbing.”
In a message accompanying the video on his Facebook page, Mr. Grisham claimed to have been “assaulted” by the parent.
His video has been viewed more than 2.7 million times.
The mall acknowledged Mr. Grisham’s behavior in a statement sent to The Huffington Post on Sunday.
“We want everyone at our shopping center to have an enjoyable experience,” the statement said. “All of the shoppers are expected to follow our code of conduct and will be asked to leave our premises if they don’t follow these rules.”
The mall’s code of conduct prohibits any kind of behavior that disturbs the peace, The Post reported.